An analyst says Israel is the number one obstacle to the P5+1 group of world powers’ recognition of Iran’s inalienable right, as a committed signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to use peaceful nuclear technology.
The comment comes as Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers have wrapped up the first day of their comprehensive talks in the Kazakh city of Almaty with the main focus on Iran’s nuclear energy program.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV after Friday talks, Undersecretary of Iran Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Baqeri said Iran and the P5+1 group -- the US, Britain, China, France, and Russia plus Germany -- will resume talks in Almaty on Saturday.
Baqeri expressed hope that this round of talks would end “effectively and logically” with “tangible results.”
Tehran and the P5+1 have already held several rounds of talks the last round of which took place in Almaty on February 26-27.
Press TV has conducted an interview with former US Senate candidate and host of the Ugly Truth Radio Network, Mark Dankof, in San Antonio to further discuss the issue. The program also offers the opinions of Research Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jim Walsh. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Mark Dankof one of the things that has been a sticking point amongst many, an immediate recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium. Why is the P5 +1 not willing to grant such a recognition which is entitled to Iran legally as a signatory to the NPT?
We can answer that one in one word: Israel. The fact of the matter is Israel is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty which Iran is. Israel is known to have somewhere between 200 and 300 nuclear warheads.
Israel of course is the chief biological and chemical weapons power in the Middle East and yet none of these so called international regimens or international inspections or international observer teams are at all involved in what has been going on in that country for many many many years.
The fact of the matter is this is a case of heads I win; tails you lose. Israel can do anything that it wants to. Iran has to conform down to the last jot and tittle of whatever the P5+1 come up with and that includes apparently and on the part of some of these parties to this negotiation a denial of the basic right that is granted to Iran by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty but we can again answer this in one word; it’s Israel.
Mark Dankof this was time and again repeated different statements coming and the most recent coming from Dr. Ali Baqeri who is the deputy chief negotiating team there of Dr. Saeed Jalili.
I’d like to get your idea what it’s going to take in terms of what he said confidence building measures must be considered as part of a more comprehensive plan. They are not separate. So I am gathering there is still the issue of mistrust.
Mark Dankof what needs to be done from let’s say the US side in order for this confidence building to be made to move forward?
Well, let’s look back over the whole history of this just in the last few years. I mean the fact of the matter is that Iran has been subjected to cyber warfare attacks thought to be coming from both the United States and Israel in the form of the Stuxnet virus as well as some of the other things that have come up in the international media.
You’ve had the ominous series of assassinations of people connected with Iranian nuclear and scientific programs that are thought to be the work of the Mujahedin or MEK terrorist organization which is thought in turn to be working both with the Israeli Mossad and with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and then when you add to that these draconian economic sanctions against Iran’s banking industry and Iran’s oil industry, it’s a little bit like being asked to show faith when the other side has a dagger pointed at your throat.
So in this rather poisonous context this attempt to intimidate Iran and to do so with all of these various means at the disposal of the United States and Israel that we have a circumstance where I don’t think that one can really blame the Iranians for having little or no confidence that the other side is intending to negotiate in good faith.
Let’s take a look at some viewer comments that are posted on the facebook page. Comment number one coming from Ross Amiri:
“The US has no choice but to respect Iran’s right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes or these talks will have no positive outcome. This has been Iran’s stance since the beginning of these negotiations and all the sanctions and threats haven’t changed it. I think both sides are starting to compromise a little and both sides are waiting to see the other side’s reaction. I’m hopeful this time it’ll have a positive turn towards solving this problem once and for all!!”
Mark Dankof take a look at this viewer comment I’d like to concentrate on the idea of sanctions that the US has imposed and you can perhaps differentiate between the UN sanctions and the US-led sanctions of the past nine months. I mean they’ve been foisted; they’ve gone around the entire world trying to get countries to go on board with it.
But ultimately they can see yes it has had an impact but for Iran to abandon its nuclear energy program and the different facets, whether it’s enrichment or not that hasn’t worked ; it’s not going to work. Why does the US still insist on these sanctions if it wants to get an outcome through diplomacy?
Well, perhaps the real question in this whole thing is not what the American government wants because its own sixteen intelligence agencies in their last national intelligence estimate indicate that Iran is not pursuing a militarized nuclear program.
I think the bigger issue is what it is that Netanyahu wants in Israel and what it is that the Israeli lobby wants working through the American government in regard to having an absolutely intransigent stance of again heads I win and tails you lose.
To me the most disconcerting aspect of all of this may be some of the parallels between this present political situation and that which accrued between the United States and Japan prior to World War II.
[American conservative political commentator, author, syndicated columnist, politician, and broadcaster] Pat Buchanan has a very nice online review of the recently published diary of President Herbert Hoover in regard to what was going on in the Roosevelt administration in the years run up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The fact of the matter is that in Hoover’s own diary he basically gives us information that tells us that the United States was actually undermining a relatively pro-American Japanese prime minister and basically rejecting out of hand a series of very serious concessions being made by the Japanese government to the American government that may well have averted the tragedy that ended up happening on December the 7th 1941.
One can definitely at least accuse Roosevelt of desiring a war with Japan and desiring it for specific purposes that historians have gone back and forth on for over seventy years.
But the fact of the matter is that when you look at that period of time it seems to me that when you look at this present circumstance whether we are talking about what it is that Netanyahu wants; what it is that the United States and the central banking community wants being very nervous about Iran; talking about potentially doing oil business in a currency other than the petrol dollar, when you start looking at the history of American machinations in Iran including their 1953 overthrow of the Iranian government in the so called operation Ajax scheme all of this has to be taken into account in looking at this from the Iranian perspective.
And saying you know these guys basically want us to give up everything and in turn to come away with nothing and basically to continue to allow Israel in particular and secondarily other American allies like India and Pakistan to conceivably do whatever they feel like doing with militarized nuclear programs and enrichment and so forth and so on.
From the Iranian side I think it again gets back to this idea...